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calling me mommy

Posted by on Dec. 31, 2014 at 11:30 AM
  • 90 Replies
I have a beautiful 7 yr old stepson who I have been lucky enough to have in my life since he was 6 weeks old. He and I have always been very close. His father and I are married and we see him Wednesdays, every other weekend, and half of school breaks. We have since had twin daughters who are now 4 yrs old and we are so happy the relationship between the 3 kids is very close. We never use the word "half" when we talk about them. We treat all 3 the same. My stepson started calling me mommy about the time his sisters were born. We never pushed the issue but have never corrected it. We did however explain to him that I am his second mommy and we are always encouraging of his relationship with his bio mom. Our relationship with her has been very rocky the past 2 years. As of yesterday she told my husband that our son is no longer allowed to call me mommy (after 4 yrs) and we need to have this conversation with him. It absolutely breaks my heart having this talk with him. He is so confused already about the dynamics and why his sisters never have to leave. This will just create more worry and chaos in his little world. Any words of advice on how to handle this? I understand her frustration but why on earth are we hearing about this 4 yrs in?
by on Dec. 31, 2014 at 11:30 AM
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Replies (1-10):
KnowItAll
by Silver Member on Dec. 31, 2014 at 11:35 AM
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You shouldn't have allowed him to call you mommy in the first place.
lmcneil1201
by on Dec. 31, 2014 at 11:40 AM
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I appreciate the reply but we did and now we are needing guidance, not criticism. There is no right way to handle this situation aND to each their own but this is the situation we are handling, whether we handled it correctly to this point isn't the issue, it's how we move forward from here.
LawNOrderMommy
by on Dec. 31, 2014 at 11:41 AM
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If biomom doesn't want her DS calling you mom then she needs to sit down with your DH, yourself, and SS to talk about it. Just you and DH talking about it with SS will likely cause SS to feel like he's done something wrong. If this is what biomom wants she needs to help provide a united front.
happywifey08
by on Dec. 31, 2014 at 11:41 AM
3 moms liked this
A 7 yo is old enough to understand his family dynamics, especially if its the only life he knows. And you should have never told him you are his second Mommy. That set you up for failure right out the gate. Who knows why Mom suddenly has a problem, maybe she didn't know he was doing it. You do have to address it though, because you can be sure she has.
whatIknownow
by on Dec. 31, 2014 at 11:42 AM
1 mom liked this

Did your husband refer to you as "mommy?" Such as, "go ask Mommy if she wants xyz" or "can you give this to Mommy?"  If so, then you taught him to call you Mommy and he did not do it on his own.

You can break him of the habit pretty easily by making sure you refer to yourself by your name and your husband refers to you by your name ("go ask Imcneil if she wants to watch a movie" for example). I don't think I"d tell him he's no longer "allowed" to call you Mommy. I would just stop calling yourself "mommy" to him, and he will switch all on his own.

lmcneil1201
by on Dec. 31, 2014 at 11:48 AM
Thank you for the feedback. We have never referred to myself as mommy to him unless it was directed to him ANA his sisters. I have been very sensitive to the matter as my husband has. I actually tried to talk to his bio mom when it began to see how she would like me to handle this and never received a response. My husband was the one who said to just let it happen. He is wrapped up in not wanting him to feel any different. And I totally understand that at 7 the dynamic should make sense to the child but there are underlying subjects that attribute to him still being a bit unsettled. We are just trying to do what is right for him.
happywifey08
by on Dec. 31, 2014 at 12:11 PM

Actually, I am going to retract part of my original comment.  Maybe the kid is confused because he thinks you are his Mom and so if his sisters get to live with Mom and Dad why doesn't he? I am also going to guess that he asked his actual mother this question and that is why she is now upset. It may be as simple as reinstating to SS that you are his Stepmother and Dad's wife, but not his actual Mom and as someone else said, simply refer to yourself by your name to him and have your DH do the same. Who knows why Mom didn't say anything, maybe she didn't know what to say. But regardless, it has been brought up now, and if you are saying he is confused about his family than my money would be on the confusion is the kid thinks he has two Moms. 

faerie75
by Ruby Member on Dec. 31, 2014 at 12:14 PM
3 moms liked this

 i wouldnt have let him call me mommy to begin.

i met SO when ss6 was 2. he was stand offish initially, so i let him decide when to come to me.

when he was 3 he called me mommy a few times. i corrected him. again when he was 4. i corrected him.

he is now 6, and now i have a baby from his father. i think he sees me with my baby and that the baby gets to stay w us all the time and he wants thtat too, so he has called me mommy again. i corrected him and he insisted so i just sort of let it go. and he stopped.

i get along ok w his mom, but i know i wouldnt want my kids calling another woman mommy so i show her the same regard.

pdxmum
by Ruby Member on Dec. 31, 2014 at 12:35 PM
5 moms liked this
End the fantasy, end the confusion. You are not mom nor are you a "second mom".

What is a second mom anyway?

He is a half brother. You are a stepmother. He has two homes. His parents are divorced. His sisters parents are not divorced. Life is what it is. By perpetuating the fantasy that he is no different than his sisters you do him a disservice.

There is nothing wrong with being any of the things he is, you are making it wrong by your choices. Sit down with him. Quick conversation, no sad dramatics, let him know you want to be the best SM in the world and when he calls you mommy it takes away the specialness that is being his SM.

lmcneil1201
by on Dec. 31, 2014 at 12:39 PM
Thank you everyone. I appreciate it. I think it is a great idea for us to all be a united front on this. I clearly took some bad advice when this all began but we all learn. He knows very well that I am not his mom. That I am his sisters mom and his step mom. Like I said before, we are very encouraging of his relationship with his bio mom. I may need to clarif my second mommy comment. There was a whole conversation that went along with it explaining my role in his life. I have never downplayed his mother's role. Being a mother I understand the importance of that relationship. His unsettled behavior stems from other issues I don't feel are appropriate to discuss on here. But I know he is not confused about my role. He is however very sensitive to any differences between him and his sisters. That is why we feel this is going to cause even more turmoil for him. We certainly have a lot to discuss and think about between now and when it's time to hAve the conversation. It is nice to know I have a judgement free (for the most part) place to come and get advice from people who have walked in my shoes. Thanks again and happy new year!
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